New Richmond linkster Wells inks letter to play at Urbana

Austin Wells signs his Letter of Intent, second from the right, as his coach, Phil Heflin, right, and parents, Desta and Thad Wells, left.

Austin Wells signs his Letter of Intent, second from the right, as his coach, Phil Heflin, right, and parents, Desta and Thad Wells, left.
By Chris Chaney
Sun staff

New Richmond High School senior Austin Wells signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic and golf career at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio.

Wells, a three-sport athlete at New Richmond, was a four-year letter winner on the Lions’ golf team under the tutelage of head coach Phil Heflin.

“I’ve been for five years and he’s my one and only district qualifier,” Helfin said. “He’s definitely led by example (during his time at New Richmond). He’s been one of the top two scorers on the team and he was First Team All-League the last two years. He’s just a quality young man, a quality individual. I think he’ll do well as a college golfer.”

Aside from the accolades Heflin laid out, Wells has also been a member of the Lions’ basketball and baseball teams during his time at New Richmond.

On the course, Wells notched a 39.8 nine-hole average during his senior season, which spanned 153 holes. Wells’ steady play and leadership were integral to the success of Lions during his time on the team, which was highlighted by back-to-back Southern Buckeye Conference titles his junior and senior seasons.

Outside of the school team, Wells has played competitively on the Southern Ohio Junior Golf Tour as well as the Cincinnati Junior Golf Tour over the last two summers.

Heading into Urbana, Wells has a solid foundation for which to build upon.

“The strength in his game right now is his short game,” Heflin said. “He’ll need to be a little more consistent off the tee and work on his longer irons and keep them in the fairway so he doesn’t get himself in trouble.

“Getting older, I think he’ll get a little bit stronger so that will make some of the longer shots he has now will be shorter once he gets to the college ranks.”

The increased distance that comes with maturity and more reps on the course will work itself out and be incorporated into Wells’ game, Heflin believes.

Wells and his family headed the recruiting process up, mostly. Heflin said he filled out information and disseminated it as best he could, but a visit up to the school was what sealed the deal for Wells.

“When he went up there, he enjoyed the coach and team,” Heflin said. “It’s a young team up there, so he’ll have a chance to play right away. I had a chance to talk to the coach up there and gave Austin a high recommendation, so I think it will work out good for him.”

The Blue Knights compete as a NCAA Division II institution under head coach Jerome Armstrong. Urbana University is a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and will face schools such as Georgetown College, Kentucky Wesleyan and Cedarville University.